So, last nite I was dining with a group of friends, and from across the table I hear, ‘I don’t eat vegetables during the week.’ WHA?!? Hold on. Did I hear that correctly? Perhaps what I heard was, ‘I don’t eat sweets during the week’ (yeah, wish I could adhere to that rule). No. Confirmation received. I did hear, ‘I don’t eat vegetables during the week.’ Oh my heck, I need to get myself over to that side of the table and have a serious produce intervention.
Okay, maybe in the dead of winter when the selection of a fresh vegetable or fruit for that matter are slim and none, but now in the absolute height of farm fresh produce overflowing at the farmers markets? I feel a reality food intervention show episode in here somewhere. But I digress. Being the farmers market junkie that I am, this just can’t do…I need to convert my friend to a weekday veg lover.
Now in all fairness, my friend is not a veg hater, just a grazer, so nuts and popcorn fill her up before the thought of a meal occurs to her. (Hum, another problem I wish I had, thought of a meal not occuring to me.) Since we were conducting the ‘intervention’ over bowls of pasta I thought, ha ,I have a way to sneak in the veg….just a little prep time in the chopping department….
Right now there is an ABUNDANCE, well of everything, but in particular summer squashes. From tiny little patty pans, to crook neck yellow, to tender zucchini these are some versatile veg. Low cal and packed with all kind of nutrient goodness, all one needs to do is cut some squash up and enjoy raw. But step it up in the kitchen and steamed, fried, baked, stewed, or added to a bevy of fav dishes like lasagna, quiche, cakes the delicate flavor of the squash will only enhance the flavor of a dish instead of over powering it.
Not wanting to turn on the stove top or oven the past few weeks, but thinking back to last nite’s pasta I thought, hum, squash ‘pasta’ salad. The eyes and mouth get the satisfaction of pasta’s look and feel. The taste, light and refreshing, and woohoo, no carb overload!
Mo’s Squash ‘Pasta’
3-4 medium yellow and zucchini squash
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chiffonade
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of chili pepper flakes
1 tablespoon asiago cheese (grated or shaved)
salt & pepper to taste
Trim ends of the squash. Julienne the squash either by showing off your knife skills or get one of these handy veg peelers that actually julienne instead of just peel (oh the things one can find at the WalMart. The one I found is made by Titan. Loving it!). Run the ‘peeler’ over the squash and voila squash transformed into spaghetti!
note to the weekend only veggie eater: Alternate this salad between noshes of nuts and popcorn 😉